Michael Jordan is many things to many people: the greatest basketball player of all time, a business and NBA team owner, and a golf enthusiast. And now those passions are about to intersect as Jordan builds his first golf course, dubbed Grove XXIII. The course will be built in Hobe Sound, Florida, which is just north of West Palm Beach, and it will reportedly open in 2019.
Bobby Weed is designing it, and he recently noted some of its uniqueness in a release.
(The course will be) routed with the south Florida trade winds in mind. The two nines wrap around each other while traversing the site in opposing directions. This dynamic layout ensures that golfers will feel the breeze from every quarter.
Weed describes the design process, and creating "a course for tomorrow, with a refined edge." He added, "knowing the caliber of the membership and Michael's passion for golf, we are designing a forward-thinking, progressive layout."
Jordan, who is the majority (but not sole) investor, is apparently intimately involved with the project as the two move forward to make something special. According to Golfweek, MJ is making weekly visits.
Weed, who has never been shy to move ground to create playable space, says the near flat site is getting a lot of earthwork. He's also impressed with the way Jordan has thrown himself into the project, including weekly onsite visits. Not all owner/developers are able to figure out what's going on with bare ground. But his Airness is proving the exception, says Weed. "He can see it in the dirt."
This should not be super surprising. Jordan is obsessed with golf and has a ton of money. At some point the question becomes, Why wouldn't you build a course? He plays with guys like Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley often, and Fowler even noted two years ago before the Honda Classic that facing Jordan with some bills at stake is great practice.
"It's a great way to prep because he's one of the greatest competitors in the world," Fowler told USA Today. "Of course, there was something on the line. The juices were flowing. I compare it to the money games on Tuesday with Phil [Mickelson]. You have to be on your toes and there is pressure.
"Plus, you're playing with MJ. It can't get any better than that."
Now they can do so on a course Jordan owns.